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What is green, readily available, and considered as a panacea to most chronic diseases? The answer is dandelion root. It is regarded as an excellent food and medicine which you can even grow in your backyard with ease.
Though it is not by any means a yard lover’s delight and can be even regarded as a weed, the dandelion root can prove to be a nemesis to most chronic diseases. Surprised that a weed can prove to be so beneficial to our health? The fact is dandelion root tea has been a part of even our ancestor’s medicinal cabinets, from time immemorial.
When we talk about dandelion root tea, it is actually an infusion made of roasted dandelion roots. They are safe for consumption unless you get it from a yard which has been sprayed with pesticides and herbicides. Instead, get it from a meadow, where it grows with gay abandon.
Dandelion Tea Benefits You Should Know About
The dandelion is rich in myriad vitamins and minerals and is especially a very good source of beta-carotene. The entire plant can be eaten because of its rich nutrient quotient. You can either consume it raw or infuse it and have it as a tea. One cup of dandelion tea contains a host of nutrients; these nutrients are listed as follows. One cuppa can serve you 25 calories.
- 42 milligrams of sodium
- 5 grams carbohydrates
- 218 milligrams of potassium
- 7 percent dietary fiber
- 111 percent vitamin A
- 535 percent vitamin K
- 5 percent vitamin B6
- 32 percent vitamin C
- 10 percent calcium
- 5 percent magnesium
- 9 percent iron
It seems rich in all kinds of valuable nutrients and can treat a variety of diseases like scurvy, anemia, blood disorders, skin problems, and depression.
Besides treating the above diseases, it has the following benefits which you simply cannot ignore.
- It acts as a digestive aid– Dandelion root tea acts as a mild laxative, thus helping in digestion; it also helps balance out your gut flora, increasing the proliferation of good bacteria. It also stimulates the production of stomach acid to aid digestion and particularly helps in the digestion of fats.
- It can reduce weight– Dandelion root tea has properties of a diuretic, thus drinking it can reduce the symptoms of bloating. It increases your urine output and helps shed the excess water weight of the body.
- A natural liver tonic-Dandelion root has long been hailed as a liver detoxifier which can heal the liver by getting rid of the accumulated toxins. Exhaustive studies were done on dandelion root and it showed that the increase the flow of bile helps in detoxification of the liver.
While there is not much science-backed evidence on how this ultimately affects liver health, naturopaths have reiterated the claim that dandelion root tea could help in the detoxification of the liver and thus help resolve skin and eye problems; and can even prevent the onset of a liver disease.
- A weight loss miracle supplement– Koreans seem to believe that dandelion root can mimic the effects of the weight loss drug Orlistat, which works by stopping the pancreatic lipase, an enzyme released at the time of digestion to break down fat. A similar effect was seen on mice testing the impact of the dandelion extract on mice revealed promising results, making dandelion root tea a potent medication for weight loss.
- Full of antioxidants– The fact that dandelion root tea is full of antioxidants makes it a potent nemesis for free radical You know what that means? It slows down the aging process, it’s your very own anti-aging tea!
- A cancer fighter-All thanks to its rich antioxidant content, dandelion root tea can also act as a potent cancer fighter. It slows cancer growth and even inhibits it. A study done in Canada in 2011 showed that consuming dandelion root extract can result in the death of cancerous cells, but spares the healthy cells. This kind of effect is specifically seen in melanoma cells and pancreatic cancer cells.
- Combat diabetes with dandelion root tea– Dandelion tea is a great panacea for people suffering from diabetes. It stimulates the production of insulin from the pancreas and helps control the blood sugar levels.
There are two reasons why someone gets diabetes, one is when the pancreas is unable to produce adequate amounts of insulin, or when their cells are unable to properly process the insulin. When the glucose isn’t properly utilized by the body, it accumulates in the bloodstream and results in high blood sugar levels.
Since dandelion root tea is a diuretic, it helps the body get rid of the excessive sugar that gets accumulated in the body and hence can act as a natural way to combat diabetes.
- Treats urinary tract infections naturally-Dandelion tea when paired with another herb known as uva ursi can prevent urinary tract infections. Uva ursi contains certain antibacterial compounds, and dandelion root tea can increase urination. Together they make for the right combination to treat a urinary tract infection.
- A natural medication to treat high blood pressure– The properties of dandelion to increase urination helps in reducing the pressure levels, this is a great way of treating hypertension naturally. Add to that, the fiber and potassium in the tea are another way of keeping the blood pressure levels normal.
- Kick the coffee habit with dandelion tea– Dandelion root concoction is a great way to stop you from consuming cups and cups of the addictive java. The fact that it is tasty and pretty healthy as well makes for a healthy concoction to sip on substituting your regular caffeine fix.
How to Make Dandelion Root Tea?
One of the factors that work in favor of dandelion root tea is that it is easy to procure and equally easy to make. But, yes you have to ensure that the plants are not sprayed with chemicals and pesticides. Also, pluck the leaves or root of the plant, when it is young. Clean the plant thoroughly and then pour hot water over the extracts of the plant and steep it for some time, then strain the concoction and sip on!
Some Trivia on this very Healthy Root
There are different kinds of dandelion, but the one more commonly used is scientifically known as Taraxacum Officinale. The dandelion plant may have been rediscovered for its innate healthful properties, but historically speaking, the plant dates back to 30 million years ago in Eurasia.
There might be some of us who may consider it as nothing more than a weed that grows in our yard, but it is what you would call a beneficial weed. It’s beneficial because it pulls the nutrients right up to the topsoil; the minerals and nitrogen, for example!
Another interesting fact about dandelion tea is there is a festival in West Virginia by the name of Dandelion Festival. The myriad benefits of the dandelion root has perhaps prompted them to name the festival after this nutritious plant. In India, it is commonly known as Simhadanti, kanaka Pushpi, and Ksheera dhari.
Roasting the Dandelion Root
This is the basis of all recipes so you need to get it right.
- Dig up the dandelion roots.
- This can prove to be difficult as the taproot is tough to pull out.
- When you have finally pulled out the root and they have been successfully uprooted, rinse them with the hose until you get clean running water.
- This is going to take long and you need to use your hands too to clean off the soil, particularly if it is clay soil.
- Chop the roots into the size of your thumbs and soak them in a sink full of cold water, shaking the roots occasionally.
- This will help you to get rid of the remaining clay clinging onto the root.
- Transfer the roots to a cutting board and roughly chop them.
Once the initial processing is done, namely the roots have been uprooted, cleaned, and chopped, dry roast them on a cookie sheet at a temperature of 150 to 200 degrees F in an oven for a good two to three hours. You can also try drying them by using a dehydrator and then roast them at 300 degrees F for 10 minutes or so. Now they are ready for your dandelion tea recipes.
Dandelion Root Tea Recipes
Dandelion plants grow wild in most parts of the world, and if you do not want to pick it from your neighborhood store, pick the tender roots yourself from the surrounding areas, ensuring they are clean, pesticide and herbicide free.
Herbal Tea for Digestive Problems
Pick early-spring leaves which are less bitter. The following recipe is a really effective one to ease off digestive issues. Fennel seeds are an age old solution that takes care of digestive issues as it does away with gas, bloating and cramps. Peppermint leaves are also great to calm down your upset tummy.
- 28 grams dandelion root
- 28 grams dandelion leaves and stems
- 18-20 grams fennel seeds
- 20 grams peppermint leaves
Method: Steep this liquid in 1 cup of hot water for about 10 minutes and strain. This tea is not suitable for consumption by children as its menthol content can cause adverse effects in them.
Dandelion Root Tea Recipe
Another favorite, this recipe is steeped with the goodness of cumin seed, which is a great natural medicine to cure heartburn and acid reflux. It has purifying properties which make it an essential ingredient for all detoxifying teas. It also helps get rid of metals and other toxic metals from your body. Fennel seeds act as a diuretic to flush out the toxins. Sweeten it with honey to make a tea suitable for all seasons and a drink to cure all your digestive issues.
- 3 cups water
- ½ tsp. cumin
- ½ tsp. coriander seed
- ½ tsp. fennel seeds (diuretic, flushes toxins)
Method: Boil the water and add the spices. Cover and steep for 5-10 minutes. Drain spices from the liquid and serve.
Ginger Dandelion Milk Thistle Tea for the Ultimate Detoxification of Your Liver
We already know now that dandelion root tea is great for detoxification of your liver, and milk thistle is another herb which works really well in enabling the process of detoxification of the liver and regeneration of liver cells. The ginger root aids in digestion and brings about a feeling of satiety and warms the body. The cinnamon helps in regulating the blood sugar levels.
The addition of lemon gives the tea the extra dose of zest you are looking for. Besides, the taste and flavor aids digestion, activates the lymphatic system, boosts the immune system and also clears up the skin. The coconut oil energizes you and also flushes out the toxins. The artichoke accelerates cell regeneration and hence is a must add to your detox tea.
- 85 grams fresh ginger; peeled and sliced
- 3 tsp. dried (or 3 teabags) dandelion root
- 3 tsp. dried (or 3 teabags) of milk thistle
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 tbs fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbs coconut oil
- 30 drops artichoke extracts
- 5 cups water
Method: Add the ginger to the water and bring to a gentle boil; boil it for 1 minute and remove from heat. Pour the boiling water over the dandelion, milk thistle, and cinnamon herbs. Cover the liquid and steep for 15 minutes. Strain the herbs from the liquid and add the lemon, coconut oil, and artichoke extract.
Stir the liquid and serve or refrigerate it until it is cold and makes for a refreshing drink perfect for a hot summer’s day. If you need to sweeten things up, use molasses or raw organic honey.
Once you start with the detoxification process, you will be able to know about the myriad dandelion tea benefits. The nutrient rich root can help purify the blood, act as an effective diuretic, improve the metabolism and bile production, and also detoxify your liver and kidney effectively. So grab fistfuls from your back yard and start putting it to good use!